Thomas Krabacher (Sacramento)
Given that this was an election year, there has been relatively little to report. The Legislature adjourned at the end of August and the Governor completed action in late September on the bills that came across his desk. Nonetheless, a few very brief comments on what the outcome of last month’s election means for the 2017-2018 California Legislature is offered here.
The final vote count in was completed during the last week of November (votes were still being counted in one southern California district) and the Democrats gained seats in both houses. They now control the Senate 27-13 and the Assembly 55-25. This means that, after two years, they now once again hold a supermajority, which they had previously lost in 2014. The new Legislature was sworn in on Monday, December 5th and the 2017 legislative session will get underway on Wednesday, January 3, 2017. Committee leadership has yet to be determined, although Assembly Member Jose Medina is once again expected to chair the Assembly Committee on Higher Education. It is not clear at this point who will be the new Chair of the Senate Education Committee now that Senator Carol Liu has been termed out. We are only now starting to hear about legislation likely to be introduced in January.
Potential legislation for 2017 is only now starting to take shape. Currently, however, there appear to be three Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) related bills that are likely to be introduced and taken up early in the new session. These are being treated with some urgency, a reflection of the concerns generated by the outcome of the recent election. We’ll have more information for you - on these and other legislative happenings - in the next Capitol Watch.